We cannot control when disaster strikes, but you can make a conscious decision to prepare for possible disasters in your area. For effective disaster response, every homeowner must have an emergency response kit.
An emergency kit allows you to survive on your food, water, baby care, medical supplies, pet supplies, and other household items for a few days in the event of an emergency situation. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not plan for emergencies, and therefore, they do not have the resources to survive when they occur.
Emergency unpreparedness explains why people fight for groceries, water, tissue paper, and granular bars among other items during natural disasters.
Why You Should Have An Emergency Response Kit
Survival kits means the difference between life and death during a disaster. Here are the major reasons why you should have one.
In the event of a widespread natural disaster or emergency, your family should be prepared to survive independently for at least 72 hours. Disaster management organizations will help the affected people, but you never know when they will get you. Therefore, you have a better chance of survival if you have basic emergency supplies like food and water in your house.
Includes important necessities
Apart from food and water, emergency kits include necessities like a source of light, protection devices, survival communication devices, and a basic first aid kit necessary during an emergency. If your area is hit with a power blackout, it helps to have a torch or solar-powered lamp to light your house before power is restored.
A survival communication kit will help you call for help if the disaster team is taking longer to reach your place.
Peace of mind
Investing in an emergency supply kit gives you peace of mind that you are safe until help arrives. This does not mean that you will not be worried, but you will be in a better place than someone who does not have food and baby care products for their newborn.
What Should Be In An Emergency Kit?
The contents of an emergency supply kit depend on who it is for, and the kind of emergency you are expecting. An emergency survival kit for a family looks different from one for a bachelor. Additionally, preparing for a fire is different from preparing for a storm.
If you do not have answers to the above questions you can purchase or put together an emergency kit that cuts across all big disasters because they require almost the same essentials. Here are must-have survival essentials in your disaster kit.
Earthquakes, floods, fires, and other emergencies can affect the clean water supply. Therefore, you should set aside clean water for drinking, cooking, and bathing in an emergency. You can purchase bottled water or store tap water in reusable bottles. However, if you are putting together an evacuation emergency kit, you only need drinking water, and you can consider portable water filtering straws because they are easy to carry around.
The need for food cuts across all emergencies. Most grocery stores close during emergencies; therefore, it helps to have your supplies ready. In an emergency, you are better off with ready and non-perishable food because you might not be able to cook. Therefore, your emergency preparedness kit should include easy and energizing foods like nuts, biscuits, canned foods, dried fruits, and energy bars, among others.
Moreover, ensure to pack food you and your family love. You want to avoid forcing your toddler to eat under pressure. Ensure to include pet food if you are a pet parent.
Information is power and especially during emergencies. A weather radio for example will keep you updated on the weather changes and whether or not it is safe to go outdoors. It also helps to have a cellphone that will help you stay in touch with family and friends or call for help when need be.
Lights are necessary for emergencies or natural disasters that lead to power failure. For the best results, invest in hand lights for everyone in your family. Moreover, invest in solar-powered lamps, so you do not have to worry about extra batteries. However, you need extra batteries in your kit if you are preparing for winter emergencies.
First aid kit
Emergencies and disasters damage properties and cause physical injuries to the occupants. Therefore, you must have first aid supplies to take care of wounds and other forms of injuries suffered.
A first aid kit should include bandages, ointments, painkillers, antibiotics, gauze, allergy medicine, kid’s medicine, burn cream, and specific prescription medications. Ensure to label everything in your kit so that you do not have to hunt for items because every second counts during an emergency.
Shelter and clothing
An emergency kit should also have a set of clothes and survival blankets to keep you warm. If you are forced to evacuate, you will have a change of clothes, but also the blanket can serve as emergency shelters. It also helps to have waterproof coverage to keep you dry in the rain or chilly cold nights.
Hygiene takes a back seat during many emergencies, but you can try to stay clean by including hygiene products in your kit. These include wet wipes, baby wipes, tissue paper, and garbage bags. You cannot achieve 100% cleanliness in a disaster, but these essentials can help you achieve some level of cleanliness.
Pack specifics depending on what you are planning for
Include any other item you need in your emergency kit, depending on the disaster you are preparing for. For instance, pack whistles to help you call for help if you are planning for an earthquake and have fire extinguishers in preparation for fires. Also, pack your essential documents like insurance documents and birth certificates in a waterproof survival bag if you stay in an area prone to floods.
Factors To Consider When Buying Emergency Kits
You can purchase ready-made emergency kits or customize them depending on your needs. Whether you decide to buy or customize, your kit should be well-packed to cater to all your needs. Here are things to consider when picking or making an emergency kit.
The best emergency kit should be able to cater to all your basic needs. It should have enough resources to give you food, water, and shelter and take care of your health for at least 72 hours. The purpose of the kit is survival. Therefore you should include whatever items that are basic to you.
There is no perfect or standard survival kit because we have different needs. The essential items in your bag depend on the disaster you are preparing for, your specific needs, and your physical location.
Emergencies like fire and floods require you to leave the house in a rush as soon as you can. In that case, your emergency kit should be easily portable by hand or car. Pack aid supplies that are lightweight, foldable, and compact. The last thing you want during a disaster is a piece of luggage that derails you. Therefore, pack as light and compact kit.
The essentials in your emergency kit should be durable because they will most likely be handled roughly. Do not purchase poor-quality materials and tools because they will frustrate you. Plan and budget for the items so that you can buy the best quality. Can you imagine purchasing a low-quality lamp whose battery lasts a few hours? Invest in waterproof and rugged brands for the best service.
Purchase essentials with a long shelf life because you do not know when the disaster will strike. Invest in items with more than five years of guarantee. You want to be sure that the torch you bought will light up five years from the purchase date when the emergency power outage happens. For perishable goods, ensure that their expiry date is years later.
Price is an important factor in all purchases, and it is crucial to stick to your budget. The price of emergency kits depends on their size and contents. You can get a kit for as low as $50 and as high as $1000.
The difference between the two sets is significant, therefore you need to make the best choice. As you plan your purchase, consider the quality of the contents and how long they will last you. The good news is there are options to suit all family sizes and budgets.
Ease of use
It is crucial to check the arrangement style and the simplicity of use of an emergency kit because they are to be used during emergencies where every second counts. The supplies should be well-labeled for easy access under pressure.
Emergency Kits or Bug-Out Bags?
Most people use these two terms interchangeably, but they mean different things. An emergency kit contains essentials to be used in emergencies that require you to stay in the house, like during a storm or Covid 19 lockdowns. On the other hand, bug-out bags are kits that you pick up during evacuation.
The Best Emergency Kits
There are many emergency kits on the market, and you will always get what you are looking for. However, choosing the best from the many available options can be daunting. Here are among the best survival kits to choose from:
Deluxe 72-Hour Emergency Kit
Deluxe 72-Hour is an affordable emergency kit that can sustain two adults for three days. It comes with the following;
- Two pieces of 2,400-calorie food bars
- Six 4-ounce packets of drinking water
- Two glow sticks
- Two ponchos
- Two emergency blankets
- Stainless steel multi-tool
- Hygiene supplies
- Portable battery
- 33-piece first-aid kit
The foodstuffs and water in the Deluxe 72-Hour emergency kit have a shelf life of five years. This gives you peace of mind because you do not have to replace them soon. The only downside of this kit is that the first aid kit does not have supplies to handle major injuries.
Complete Earthquake Bag
The complete earthquake bag is an emergency kit designed as an earthquake kit, but it can also be used during other natural disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, and storms. It contains all the essentials to keep you fed and safe. These include:
- Two food bars
- 24 water pounces
- 20 water purification tablets
- Two sleeping bags
- Hand warmers
- Tube tent
- Gloves and masks
- A whistle
- A rope
- A crank flashlight that also serves as a phone charger and a radio
- A pack for personal items
The Complete Earthquake Bag is sold in different sizes to cater to other people’s needs. Moreover, the emergency kit is color coded to enable you to find whatever you need as fast as possible because time is of the essence during emergencies.
Emergency Zone 2-Person Family Prep 72-Hour Survival Kit
The 2-Person Survival Kit is a collection of essentials and hygiene products to help you prepare for emergencies or disasters. It contains the following:
- Food bars
- Sleeping bags
- A 118-set first-aid kit
- 12 4-ounce water pouches
- Water purification powder
- Plastic water bottle
- Collapsible water bottle
- Filter straw
- Toiletries like toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, and shaving cream.
The emergency zone kit stands out for the hygiene products, which are not included in many emergency kits. Being able to take care of cleanliness during a disaster is among the best ways to keep you comfortable.
Moreover, all these essentials are packed in a backpack with many compartments that are easy to access. Also, it is designed with an empty compartment where you can store personal items like clothes and medications.
The major downside of the Emergency Zone 2-Person Family Prep 72-Hour Survival Kit is that it does not come with any lighting tool, but you can easily purchase one and add it to the collection.
Uncharted Supply Co The Seventy2 Pro 2-Person Survival System
The Seventy2 Pro 2-Person Survival System contains everything you need during an emergency. The essentials are packed in a dry bag that is more durable than a backpack. It includes the following:
- First-aid kit with all the essentials
- Food bars
- Hand crank radio
- Winter hats
- A knife
- Hand warmers
- Waterproof matches
- Emergency blanket
- Glow sticks
The Seventy2 Pro 2-Person Survival System bag is among the best on the market, but there is no extra space to add your personal items. Another downside is that there is no water, which is a top survival requirement.
20L Survival Kit Backpack
The 20L Survival Kit Backpack is packed with 100 items to keep you alive during an emergency. The backpack is a dry bag, meaning that it is waterproof and, therefore, very appropriate for people preparing for floods and hurricanes. Some of the essentials in the backpack include:
- Thermal insulation blanket
- Heat reflective shelter
- Emergency foods
- Water packs
- Med pack
- Hand warmers
- Socks, gloves, and hats
- Para cord
- Duct tape
All the 20L Survival Kit backpack items are high quality, assuring effectiveness and value for your money. Moreover, your purchase is backed up with a lifetime guarantee. The manufacturer will cater for any defect on the kit for as long as you own it.
Sustain Supply Survival Backpack
Sustain Supply Survival Backpack is a premium 72-piece emergency kit to help you in several emergencies and natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and even during a nuclear war. It contains the following essentials:
- Foods like paste with chicken and mac and cheese
- Portable stove
- Water filtration system
- A fully stocked first-aid kit
All the items are packed in a sturdy and good-looking back, with comfortable straps. The supplies are enough to keep two adults alive for 72 hours. They also sell larger backpacks for a family of four and a cheaper option for two people to cater to different customer needs.
Having emergency survival kits is not a luxury but a necessity. A well-equipped emergency survival kit will save a life or make it easy to sail through an emergency. Therefore, because we never know when a disaster will strike, it is crucial to have your emergency kit ready. It will not remove the stress of an emergency or natural disaster, but it will give you peace of mind to navigate difficult times.